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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Full Circle

My name is Samantha Wise. I am originally from Birmingham, although I have not always lived there. I moved to Scotland in 2002 and lived there for 3 years. I then moved over to Kildare in Ireland in 2005, and then up to Leitrim in 2006. I finished school over there in 2009. So, I have moved around a lot! I’ve lost count on the amount of times I’ve been on a plane or a ferry.
 Once I had finished school, I was still uncertain about what to go for as a career. I had always loved art and games, so when I found out about Game Artist jobs, I realised that that was the area for me. It seemed like the perfect combination of my passions.

I chose to do a 1 year foundation course in art and design, which would broaden my skills and develop my way of thinking as an artist, and it also showed me how to develop a portfolio.

This game art course matched all my interests in what I would like to study. I was glad to find that it incorporated traditional 2D media as well as computer software. Studying just one area would not have been for me. From a young age, I had always loved unlocking the bonus features in games, where you can view the concept art and mesh models for the scenery, characters, creatures and all other aspects of the game worlds. At the time, I had never really considered being able to do such work myself, but then, I was only about 8 years old! I used to watch my step dad play the Playstation from when I was about 7, and I quickly learned how to play a range of different types of games, from Resident Evil, to Spyro, to Ridge Racer and Medievil!

Before I applied to this course, I searched the internet for information about what Game Artists do. The aspects of working in a team and collaborating with game directors to develop and produce game content really appealed to me. I looked through some of the websites of the artists who had worked on a few of the games I liked and they became some of my favourite artists.

Now that I am on this course, I feel that I am starting on the path to my dream career. After the first induction week of talks and presentations, I was really excited to get started on the work. I am enjoying using 3DS Max, I did get stuck a few times when building the church, but I got there in the end. I know it’s all down to practice. Now I am trying to make the Dalek, hopefully it will look recognisable and not like an amusing tube! Also, the perspective drawings are going well. I’m slowly getting the hang of drawing the horizon line at the right level and the angles of other lines.

My ambitions for this year are to work hard, learn new skills, develop a good understanding of the game art industry, and enjoy it! I will make sure not to fall behind on assignments and work. I hope that by the end of the course I will be able to use 3D software confidently, be able to create accurate drawings/paintings of people and landscapes, and have acquired the skills expected in a successful game artist. That is my dream job, and I know that I will work hard to achieve this. Here is a job description for a company called Rainbow Studios. They are looking for a concept artist who will work closely with an art director and skilled art team, making awe inspiring concepts each day for a fantasy title.  This is a summary of what they want in an ideal candidate:
  • An avid gamer who understands what it takes to make great games.
  • Someone able to work to tight deadlines.
  • Artist equally strong in character and environment design.
  • Can switch between concept and production art.
  • Sketch quickly and explore different approaches to a problem.
  • Excellent communicator/excels in team/thrives in group discussions.
  • Good drawer AND painter. “and can belt out tight orthographs, storyboards, marketing paintings, and mood pieces alike”
  • Passionate and imaginative world-builder.
From this, I can see the kind of skills that is wanted in a game artist. I believe I know some of what it takes to make a great game, having seen lots of “Making of” videos for games. I hope to get a better understanding of this however, by producing lots of quality work and examining how games are developed from scratch. I am good at working under deadlines. I’m equally interested in character and environment design, though I am not exactly strong in those areas, but that’s why I am here, to learn! I hope to develop skills for doing concept art and production art. I can produce quick sketches, and I am able to solve problems, though not very quickly. I enjoy group work, I am good at listening and I like to hear other people’s ideas and opinions. I have done paintings in water colour and acrylic before but I hope to get more confident with paintings. As for “orthographs, storyboards, marketing paintings and mood pieces”, I hope to learn more about what they are. This job is offered in America. I love to travel, so I would not mind at all getting a job in a different country, which would be an awesome experience all together!

Anyway, in conclusion, I am really happy to be on this course, I know that I am very lucky to have the chance to study Game Art. I am very enthusiastic about getting stuck in to the assignments, getting challenged and learning new things. I look forward to seeing how the coming weeks fold out!

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